Fos­sil Q Com­muter

£159 inc VAT from fave.co/2I55PXw

Android Advisor - - Con­tents -

Abit like smart­phones, smart­watches haven’t changed much over the last few years de­spite be­ing a much newer cat­e­gory. We’ve had all kinds of prob­lems, par­tic­u­larly with bat­tery life so hy­brid de­vices have quickly be­come a great al­ter­na­tive. Fos­sil’s Q Com­muter is a par­tic­u­larly stylish yet use­ful wear­able.

De­sign

We re­ally liked the old-fash­ioned vin­tage style of the orig­i­nal Q Grant (which now has a new de­sign we’re slightly less keen on), but the Q Com­muter

has a more sleek and mod­ern look. You can also get the Q Nate for a more rugged out­doors sort of style, among oth­ers.

The Com­muter fea­tures a 42mm me­tal body that comes in sil­ver, gold, rose gold or black – all neatly matched with a leather or me­tal strap. The leather strap is good qual­ity and it’s quick re­lease, so you can change them eas­ily for a 22mm al­ter­na­tive.

The body is fairly large and is 13mm thick so won’t suit those with smaller wrists that well – the Q Neely is a bet­ter op­tion if so. It’s made from stain­less steel and the watch car­ries a 5ATM wa­ter­proof rat­ing, so it’s fully sub­mersible in wa­ter up to 50m.

What’s nice here, com­pared to the orig­i­nal Q Grant, is that the back of the case is me­tal rather than plas­tic.

The watch face has a brushed me­tal fin­ish and we like the sim­plic­ity of the de­sign, yet the flashes

of or­ange pro­vide some con­trast. Note that dif­fer­ent mod­els come with dif­fer­ent colour faces.

You’ll no­tice two but­tons and crown on the side, but the crown is ac­tu­ally a but­ton – you use the app to ad­just the hands if needed. These are easy to use and can do all kinds of things, we’ll ex­plain next.

Hard­ware

It’s easy enough to set up the Q Com­muter with a phone as you sim­ply down­load the app and fol­low the in­struc­tions. We did have an is­sue where the watch per­formed an up­date straight away, but the app couldn’t find it after­wards so we had to pair a sec­ond time.

The quick start book­let in the box sim­ply tells you to down­load the app (for iOS or An­droid), but we wish we had more in­for­ma­tion on how to use the watch as the app doesn’t do a great job of ex­plain­ing ev­ery­thing.

Like the Nokia Steel HR and sim­i­lar watches, the Q Com­muter has a sec­ondary dial that shows your step count progress. You can see ex­act num­bers in the app as well as sleep track­ing if you don’t find the watch un­com­fort­able to wear in bed.

The left side of this dial is where the Com­muter gets clever, though. It’s split up into four sec­tions: Alert, Date, Alarm and Time 2. By de­fault, push­ing the mid­dle but­ton on the crown cy­cles through the modes, but you need to set some up in the app be­fore they will do any­thing. This isn’t clear and we had to fig­ure it out for our­selves. There’s also a stop­watch which we had to work out with trial and er­ror.

The alert func­tion will be the most help­ful as you can get no­ti­fi­ca­tions via your phone. When you get a no­ti­fi­ca­tion on your phone, the Q Com­muter will vi­brate, the sec­ond dial will move to ‘alert’ and the main hands will move to point at an hour.

You can cus­tom­ize what the hours – 1 to 12 – mean in the app and they can be an alert for a spe­cific con­tact, gen­eral calls or texts, or a no­ti­fi­ca­tion from a spe­cific app. The trick is re­mem­ber­ing what you set each one to – some­thing you’ll just have to learn over time us­ing the watch.

The three but­tons on the side can also be set by the user to do all kinds of things, al­though you’ll prob­a­bly need to leave the mid­dle one as mode se­lect.

They can con­trol mu­sic play­back, take a photo (via your phone), show your com­mute time and more.

Since there are lots of dif­fer­ent com­bi­na­tions avail­able, you can save pre­sets so you can quickly change all three for var­i­ous sit­u­a­tions.

What would be handy is the abil­ity to set more than one func­tion to each but­ton, with a lon­gor dou­ble-press, or even both. You are stuck with just one per but­ton, though, so mak­ing use of the pre­sets is your best op­tion.

Bat­tery life is the bane of the tech­nol­ogy world and it’s es­pe­cially dif­fi­cult to move to a smart­watch, which may only last a day or two, when you’re used to a reg­u­lar watch last­ing months or years.

The beauty of a hy­brid smart­watch is that it con­sumes a frac­tion of the power com­pared to a full smart­watch. We can’t say for sure about Q Com­muter bat­tery life be­cause the watch can last up to a year.

One thing is for sure, it will last a lot longer than a reg­u­lar smart­watch. You can check the bat­tery level in the app and it’s eas­ily re­placed with the sup­plied tool and an in­ex­pen­sive CR2430 but­ton type bat­tery.

Ver­dict

If the screen and bat­tery life of a reg­u­lar smart­watch doesn’t ap­peal then a hy­brid is a great al­ter­na­tive. The Fos­sil Q Com­muter is an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple and the best we’ve tried so far. It’s stylish, avail­able in var­i­ous fin­ishes, with top-notch build qual­ity at an af­ford­able price. It’s not the most in­tu­itive sys­tem, but once you get used to it, the Com­muter han­dles track­ing, no­ti­fi­ca­tions and more pretty neatly. Chris Martin

Spec­i­fi­ca­tions

• An­droid 5.0+, iOS 9+ • Blue­tooth 4.1 • 42x13mm stain­less steel case • Ac­celerom­e­ter • Ac­tiv­ity and sleep track­ing • Alerts, alarm, date, stop­watch, time zones • 22m quick change strap • 1-year bat­tery life • CR2430 bat­tery

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